Malota's Confectioners

Date 1933–1935
Architect Miroslav Lorenc
Code Z14
Address Bartošova 45, Zlín
Public transport Public transport: Náměstí Míru (TROL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13; BUS 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 70, 90)
GPS 49.2271864N, 17.6648350E
  • Miroslav Lorenc. Jaromír Krejcar. Zlínská moderní architektura a pražská avantgarda. Moderne Architektur in Zlín und die Prager Avantgarde

In the first half of the 1930s, the architect Miroslav Lorenc worked on several projects that significantly transformed Bartošova Street, connecting the city centre with the train station. The original mainly lower residential buildings were gradually replaced by multi-storey houses of Zlín tradesmen with grand business floors, which gave the street along the castle park a metropolitan feel. In addition to Karel Chudárek's apartment building (1932) and František Novosad's clothing store (1933), Lorenc was also behind the design of the café and pastry shop belonging to Ludvík and Emílie Malota.
At that time, Miroslav Lorenc had already had a lot of experience with non-standard dimensions of building plots. Similar to the nearby Eduard Pelčák department store on Rašínova Street, at Malota's confectioners he was also able to make full use of the long and narrow plot resulting from the demolition of the previous building. The building with four floors and a basement under a flat roof received a well-thought-out floor plan. The large-scale glazing of the first two floors enticed customers to peek into the confectioners and cafe operation.
The main entrance on the ground floor, where the renowned pastry and dessert preparation shop run by Emília Malotová was situated, was bordered by elegant rounded display windows. The first floor with a cafe and a dance floor was generously illuminated by large- windows running around the eastern side façade. The premises of the cafe were directly accessible via a straight staircase leading from the confectioners. The commercial and social floor were highlighted by slightly protruding plastered strips intended for advertising signs. Their unified graphic design and simple, pure typography were in line with the functionalist aesthetics of Malota's confectioners.

The residential floors with the owner's and staff's apartments were divided by three-part windows running over the corner, complemented by strip windows on the eastern façade. The main façade towards the street was dominated by the inscription ‘Malota’ on the roof of the building. Malota's apartment on the third floor had four rooms, a kitchen, a maid's room, and a bathroom. The last floor offered three more living rooms and a laundry room with a dryer.
The house, completed at the end of 1933, was extended towards the yard two years later with the participation of Miroslav Lorenc. The architect adapted the layout to existing operational requirements. He transformed the confectioner’s store room on the ground floor into a well-equipped workshop and preparation room for desserts and cakes, featuring the first American ice cream machine in Zlín. He enlarged the dance café and added more spacious sanitary facilities, and additional rooms for staff were added to the residential floors.
After the communist coup in 1948, the company, which brought quality services and a modern café culture to Zlín, was taken over by the state enterprise Restaurace a jídelny. The original owners were imprisoned for several years. They could live in the house afterwards, but were only allowed to work in different professions. The cafe and pastry shop were still in operation, but the maintenance of the entire building lagged considerably. 
At the end of the 1980s, a project was created to renovate the dilapidated building. The architecturally valuable functionalist commercial and residential building was subsequently demolished and only its reinforced concrete structure remained. After years of delays, what remained of the property was returned to the Malota family following the revolution in 1989. The building was turned into the Modus business and office building, opened in 1996. It was designed by Ludvík Jungwirth and Oldřich Šlesinger. The department store is divided into two separate façades lined with white and blue ceramic tiles, and is one floor higher compared to the original Malota's cafe. Apart from the construction, the new commercial building has nothing in common with the original and impressive design of the pastry shop and cafe by architect Miroslav Lorenc.